States Sue SEC Over Broker Regulations

Just one week ago I posted a link to my current article on SEC amendments to the regulations defining the duties of investment advisers and brokers to the investing public, and noted controversy about the alleged deficiencies in the treatment of brokers asserted by critics.

Today’s press references a suit in New York Federal Court filed yesterday by eight state attorneys general seeking to void entirely the SEC standards for brokers. The grounds are technical: noncompliance with the statute that requires certain steps be taken by US agencies to amend their regulations. It is asserted that the 2010 Dodd Frank Act does not permit brokers to enjoy lesser fiduciary duties than investment advisers. Aside from New York, the other plaintiff states include California and Delaware (although not Massachusetts).

To this point, the SEC has not answered the complaint; far too soon. This suit will be a long one, and is the tip of the iceberg relative to this volatile issue.

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